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National confirms its giant leap backwards

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Research, Science and Technology

25 September 2008 Media Release
National confirms its giant leap backwards

National has confirmed that it will increase taxation on about 2500 to 3000 of New Zealand’s best firms. And it has also confirmed that there will be no additional funding for the science system over the next three years, Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

Commenting on National’s Research, Science and Technology policy which National itself released today, Pete Hodgson said that under the policy all New Zealand firms that undertake R&D face a tax increase, netting the National Party $100m a year.

“The effect on private sector R&D investment will be chilling,” he said.
“This money, and only this money, will be used over the next three years to top up various research funds, meaning there will be no additional money in the system at all.

“Moreover they will cash up the government’s New Zealand : Fast Forward fund of $700m, currently earning about $1m per week in interest, thereby destroying any confidence the private sector needs to commit to co-investment.

“Because their leader John Key unthinkingly labelled that fund “a gimmick” back in March, they have been forced to abandon what is poised to be the most significant step change in the food and pastoral sectors in decades.

“National has demonstrated that it is prepared to put very dumb politics ahead of national interests.

“Their decision to fund food and pastoral research only from year to year will mean long-term private sector commitment to co investment will evaporate.

“Indeed their final policy doesn’t even mention a private sector partnership.

“Furthermore their policy document is riddled with errors and misunderstandings too numerous to detail.

“National should not be trusted with our nation’s economic development. In summary, it’s a giant leap backwards, and a disgrace.”


ENDS

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